A video has emerged of a high school football team forcing one of their Black players to sit in a locker filled with banana peels.
According to Fox 32 Chicago, the incident occurred in a locker room at Moline High School, in northwest Illinois on Thursday, April 8.
The 11-second video shows a player threatening the Black teen to sit in a locker filled with banana peels. The player can be heard saying, “Or I’ll break both your knees.”
The Black player, whose name hasn’t been made public, eventually sits down while other players in the locker room can be heard shouting, “Yeah!
Authorities became aware of the video after it was widely shared on Friday night, April 9.
Moline Police Chief Darren Gault called the incident a ‘disturbing racist scene’.
Gault said an investigation into the disturbing video revealed the people involved were teammates ‘of both different and similar races to the victim’.
He also said all players involved have been identified and that they are all friends.
‘Regardless of these facts, we all agree that this is a disgusting way to treat a fellow teammate, a fellow human being and most certainly a friend,’ Gault said.
‘We all agree that regardless if the students viewed this as a joke, it is unacceptable behavior.’
The Moline football team played an away game on Friday night and detectives spent the weekend interviewing the players, coaches, and staff members before turning their findings over to prosecutors.
The Moline-Coal Valley School District said it would conduct its own investigation of the incident to determine if there were any school code violations or violations of district polices.
‘The vile behavior depicted in the video does not represent our core values and has no place in our learning community,’ school district spokeswoman Candace Sountris said in a statement.
‘Clearly, we have work to do. Decisive action will be taken upon the conclusion of both the law enforcement and the school district’s internal investigation.’
Moline Mayor-elect Sangeetha Rayapati, who is also the school board chair, said in a statement that adults have ‘a responsibility to hold individuals involved in this incident accountable’.
‘I speak from the heart when I say we have a responsibility to teach them a better way. It’s awful to know a child was treated that way. It’s awful to know that that child will be marked forever by the incident and the disrespect they received. And it’s awful to know other children would see this as a joke,’ she said.
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